House of Commons Hansard #205 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was requests.

Topics

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member opposite of something our chief negotiator said in a scrum yesterday, which is that at the negotiating table we have not yet received U.S. proposals on the dairy sector. Therefore, it is important for people to understand that.

When it comes to our dairy farmers, we will defend their interests vigorously at the NAFTA negotiating table. We are committed to working together with farmers, industry groups, and American counterparts to promote Canada's agricultural interest. We will fiercely defend the national interest and promote our values.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, over 98% of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce voted against these Liberal tax increases. Business leaders across the country have real concerns and real questions. What is the Minister of Finance's answer? He ignores them, because he thinks they are tax cheats who are milking the system.

Why is the Minister of Finance ignoring legitimate concerns from reputable business groups like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in regard to his tax increases?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the short answer is that I am not. What we are trying to do is make sure our system works. We are showing Canadians that, in fact, it encourages right now wealthy Canadians to incorporate so they can pay a lower tax rate than the middle class. What we are out doing is listening to Canadians. We are explaining that, frankly, 2% of these corporations hold 80% of the past investment income. That is really important for Canadians to know.

We know that helping middle-class small businesses to invest actively is critically important for our economy. Having a tax system that is fair is also critically important. We are going to serve those two goals.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this weekend it was clear he did not explain anything to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and that is why it voted 98% against his tax increases.

Business leaders are seeing right through the hypocrisy of the Liberal tax increase. Why? Because wealthy people like the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance and their companies will not be touched by this increase.

I will give the Minister of Finance another chance. Could he tell the House in what way Morneau Shepell will be affected by these tax increases, just one way?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to get at how the system works, and the way the system works is it encourages wealthy people to incorporate to pay a lower rate of tax than middle-class Canadians. That is not a system that makes sense.

We know that what needs to happen is to look at the system to make sure we deal with the kinds of things that give wealthy people an advantage, that grows as they get wealthier, so all Canadians have an opportunity to be successful. That is what we are working toward, and that is going to help our system be fair for the long term.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about how the system works.

Across Canada, thousands of entrepreneurs, job creators, and small business owners know how to run their businesses and create jobs, but those people are worried.

I was in Alma last week, where I met a businessman, François Émond, who owns Meubles Gilles Émond. He told me that he is very worried about these tax changes because they will leave him with less money to reinvest in his company.

Can the Minister of Finance explain to the House why he is going after this businessman and the jobs he creates while giving big companies like Morneau Shepell a free pass?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our current system encourages the wealthiest Canadians to incorporate so they can get a lower tax rate than middle-class Canadians.

We want to protect small businesses like the one my colleague mentioned because we know that with a very low tax rate, the lowest in the G7, we can continue to invest, and people like the owner of that business can, too. That is very important. We will stay on track because this is important for small and medium-sized businesses across Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the last thing entrepreneurs need is another tax increase. The minister should know that.

Is it any wonder that the Prime Minister has so much contempt for entrepreneurs, when he thinks they are getting away with not paying their fair share of taxes, but meanwhile he thinks so highly of the Chinese dictatorship?

What is our Prime Minister doing today? He is in Toronto to meet with Chinese billionaires from the Alibaba group. That is interesting.

Why does the Prime Minister prefer talking to Chinese billionaires instead of listening to the concerns of Canadian entrepreneurs, who are the real job creators?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country B.C.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, e-commerce offers Canada's micro, small, and medium-sized businesses unparalleled opportunities to expand their markets overseas. SMEs are the engine of the Canadian economy, and trade means more growth for them and jobs for Canadians. Our trade commissioner services provide support and advice to Canadian exporters that wish to do business online and obviously are working with commercial online platforms.

We are working very hard to promote e-exporting in support of Canadian business.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of standing up for small business owners across the country, today the Prime Minister is in Toronto, wait for it, meeting with billionaires yet again. We also know that the Liberals, including the Minister of Finance, have no desire to help small business, because the minister's own family business, Morneau Shepell, will be sheltered from this epic Liberal tax grab. Why are the Liberals determined to give billionaires a break while placing the burden of their high spending ways on the backs of Canadian small businesses?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have done a review of our tax system to make sure that we get at what is most important. The system right now encourages people to incorporate so they pay a lower rate of tax than middle-class Canadians. That is actually the way the system works. I know that some of our colleagues from across the aisle might be comfortable with a system that allows the richest to have tax advantages that are not available to the rest, but Canadians do not. We want a system that is fair. We know that a fair system allows small businesses to invest in their business. That is what we want to continue, a very low small business tax rate.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend I was at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's annual general meeting. Members hoped that the finance minister was there to listen to their concerns but were disappointed as he deflected every single question. In response, almost 99% voted to oppose his unfair tax changes.

Will the minister now accept the chamber's offer to have town halls across this great country, listen to local businesses, and explain why their taxes are going up while the same changes do not apply to millionaire shareholders of firms like Morneau Shepell?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I did spend a few minutes talking at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce meeting this weekend, because I wanted to make sure that we started with a frame of reference. I talked about how our system currently encourages the wealthiest to incorporate so that they pay a lower rate of tax than the middle class. However, what I really did there was listen. I listened to what was going on. The small business owners and the chambers there told me what they thought about what we were trying to do, and I think they left with a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve. My view is that they understand broadly that what we are doing is leaving a low tax rate that they can invest—

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, millions of Canadians use and love our national parks. However, the government is now considering changing the ownership of some of its assets. This summer, Parks Canada issued a prefeasibility study for the divestiture or transfer of park infrastructure, including highways, dams, and bridges. The total value of this infrastructure is upward of $8 billion. The Minister of Environment said in a recent letter that the government has no plans at this time to divest itself of any of its assets. Will the minister state clearly that she will rule out any proposal to sell off any part of Parks Canada now and in the future?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, Parks Canada's core mandate is to protect and present Canada's natural and cultural heritage. A significant portion of Parks Canada's assets are general infrastructure, such as highways, dams, and non-heritage bridges that are not directly linked to our mandate, for instance, stretches of highway that cross through parks but otherwise fall under provincial jurisdiction.

As indicated in budget 2017, Parks Canada is developing a medium and a long-term plan to ensure the effective and efficient management of its asset portfolio. I would imagine that most people would think it is the responsible thing to do. To be clear, it is an initial exploratory study to inform future discussions. No decision has been made.

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, no decision has been made, except for the tender notice on Buyandsell.gc.ca . Therefore, we have to really wonder what the government's intention is here.

This is another example of the Liberals trying to keep their plans to privatize our public infrastructure under wraps. This issue was never raised during the election campaign, apart from the infrastructure bank, which, once again, is more about pleasing their Bay Street friends than really investing in our public infrastructure.

Why are the Liberals so determined to hand our public assets over to their friends on Bay Street?

Parks CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

To be clear, it is an initial exploratory study to inform future discussions on the management of infrastructure that is unrelated to Parks Canada's core mandate, such as highways, dams, and non-heritage bridges.

No decision has been made, but we need to have a closer look at this matter, for it is important.

TaxationOral Questions

September 25th, 2017 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Alberta Federation of Agriculture, and the premiers of Manitoba and Nova Scotia are joining the chorus of people criticizing the Minister of Finance for wanting to take money from farmers in order to pay off the deficit.

In the Minister of Agriculture mandate letter it says that the government must use its policy and financial tools to support the agricultural sector in its vital work.

Why is the minister doing the opposite? Why is he is using all of the government's financial tools to threaten the survival of family farms in Canada?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we want to create a fair tax system, and that is why we are consulting Canadians.

We are listening to the concerns of farmers and encouraging them to share their ideas on how to create a fair tax system. Being a farmer, I fully understand that farmers have to save for a rainy day, or if they have problems with repairing buildings, buying machinery, and for investing in their businesses. In fact, the dollars that are invested are there for their businesses. That is what the dollars are there for.

We have and will continue to make sure that the farming sector thrives.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, dozens of farm and ranch families came to an open house in High River yesterday to loudly voice their concerns with these punitive Liberal tax changes.

They are angry, they are frustrated, and they are worried that the Liberals are trying to take away the legacy they have built for generations, their family farm. They have reason to be concerned. Tax experts agree that these changes could wipe out the family farm.

Will the Minister of Agriculture finally be the voice for Canadian farmers? Will he stand up and demand an extension to the tax consultations on these changes, or does he believe that the family farm is not worth saving?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have and will continue to support the farmers. These are complex transactions, and we are consulting with farmers on the proposed changes.

We want their views on how to better accommodate family transfers. We want to help farmers to transfer their farms. I can assure members that this government has consulted and will continue to consult with the farmers to make sure it is easier for farmers to transfer their family farm to their families.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, Angela is a farmer in my riding. She said that these Liberal tax changes are a man-made disaster that will devastate rural communities across Canada.

She and dozens of other Alberta farm families left their combines in the middle of harvest to come to a town hall in High River and voice their concerns. They are fighting for their livelihoods. They are fighting for their children's future. They are fighting for their family farm.

Will the Minister of Agriculture stop kowtowing to the Minister of Finance and commit today to extend the consultation period on these tax changes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, I have and will continue to consult with farmers on every issue that affects the farmer.

On these tax changes, what will take place is that any dollars that are invested in the corporation are there for the corporation, for the farmers to invest in their farms, to invest in their property, to expand their property, to create more business. That is what it is all about.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have had it with that speech in the House. Farmers and their families are honest people who deserve to be treated as such by their government and their Minister of Agriculture.

Why does the Minister of Agriculture remain silent when his colleague, the Minister of Finance, is showing contempt for farmers across Canada? What they are asking for is simple and costs nothing. They are asking the Minister of Finance to extend the consultation period.

Which side will the Minister of Agriculture choose, the one that hurls insults and spells the end of family farms or the rational one against the arrogant attitude of the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister?